College freshies, attention here please for some simple ways to survive dorm life. It's an exciting year for you as you continue your journey to "adult life" by enrolling in a college to earn a degree, get a job, and becoming Miss Independent who can stand on her own two feet without begging Mom and Dad for a monthly allowance. But...stop right there! Before your thoughts wander off to Wonderland, go back to your dorm room first and ask yourself the question: "How am I going to survive living in one room with (a) stranger(s)?" Here are some ways to survive dorm life:
1. Exercise Patience
It's a dormitory, not a spa and massage center, so expect loud music and people chattering for hours and hours. We know too well about the dorm manager who reprimands the boisterous ones from time to time, but let's be clear about this: noise is a reality that you have to face in college. It's a big challenge and certainly one of the several factors that will test your wits and creativity in thinking of ways to survive dorm life.
2. Go Find Your Personal Space
Privacy - what? You won't even know that word as you fight your way through freshman year. As a tip, try leaving your room and find yourself a cozy nook that you can make your personal space. It might be the library, under the shade of ta tree, or that coffee shop that serves yummy chocolate chip cookies. Go out and find space and time for yourself.
3. Think before You Pack
A lot of us who have been down this road before will tell you that we've been pretty excited so we packed more than what we really need. This is especially true for those who will leave home for the very first time. You would want to bring your family albums, I know. But please remember that a typical dorm might only be 10 to 15 square meters in size. That's not much if you have two people in it, two beds, two dressers, etc. Pack wisely.
4. Take Curfews Seriously
When you live in a dorm, you will sign a contract and you are bound to it until it expires. When it says that curfew is 10:00 p.m. on school nights and 11:00 p.m . on weekends, follow the rules. If you really need to stay out late for whatever reason, be sure to inform your roommate or your dorm manager. Think about safety.
5. Keep a Tight Leash on Stuff You Share
Over a period of time, your roommates will feel that whatever it is that's available for the eyes to see then it's for everyone to devour or own. So if you don't want to share your stuff, say it. Be clear about it. A common table works. That means that whatever it is on that table belongs to everyone. Other than that, it's off limits.
6. Set Clear Rules
You can whip up a social contract, sign it with your roommates, and hang it on the wall (in a place where everyone can see it). Do this if you feel that your roommates are up for it. Otherwise, you can have a "meeting" and tell each other what you like and don't like, plus throw in some pertinent details that you specifically want them to know.
7. Own a Safety Deposit Box
Or anything that functions like it. Of course you don't tell them that you have one. You won't be keeping millions in a dorm room anyway. But just in case you have money from your part-time job that you need to set aside for the week before you can go to the bank, be sure to have a security box. You don't want your valuables to be easily accessible.
Anyone here who has stayed in a dormitory? What were your experiences?